Offsite construction is a rapidly expanding sector in the UK building industry. This construction technique is now used across many build sectors, including housing, healthcare, education, leisure, and hotels.
Offsite and modern methods of construction (MMC) are being increasingly used due to their speed, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. Showcasing offsite construction through time-lapse videos is an excellent way to highlight these benefits. With high-resolution Ultra HD footage, video can capture the efficiency, ease, and precision involved in the technique.
What is offsite construction?
Modern methods of construction include the manufacturing, planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building components in specialised factories before they are delivered to site. Digital design and precision engineering work together to produce sections of buildings, which are then assembled on-site with increased accuracy and speed.
These new methods transfer work away from construction sites and into safe, sustainable, and high-tech manufacturing facilities using highly skilled workers and engineers. They produce a range of elements, from modular volumetric systems to light gauge steel frames, and pre-cast concrete.
Why is there increased interest in offsite construction?
Boris Johnson’s New Deal plans to boost the construction industry have put MMC further into the spotlight. Post-lockdown, in an attempt to reboot the economy, the government has promised the construction industry billions of UK pounds to build not only houses but schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.
The Government’s July 2020 policy paper – Construction Sector Deal, directly addresses the need for offsite manufacturing to help reach ambitious targets. It acknowledges that it is “a sector that can build new homes in weeks – and even days – rather than months; that can deliver new buildings at a third of the cost; that can provide affordable, energy-efficient homes”.
Offsite construction has become increasingly popular as it is now recognised as a proven way of constructing better-performing buildings, more quickly and at a reduced cost.
Why use MMC and offsite?
The main benefits of using offsite construction are the speed, cost savings, reduced waste, sustainability, and consistency of quality. Using specialised factories with skilled workers allows the building elements to be monitored to a high standard whilst being efficiently produced.
Offsite work can take place in parallel with onsite preparations so that groundwork is completed prior to the arrival of the components, speeding up the whole build process. Modules, light steel frames, and precast concrete can all be manufactured off-site, so the on-site construction of projects can be completed quickly, on time, and efficiently. The costly delays that affect traditional building sites are taken away as modern method builds run to time and budget.
Where is offsite construction used?
Offsite construction has expanded throughout the building industry and is used for homes, hospitals, schools as well as leisure and retail complexes.
Offsite has been used extensively in residential and home builds and will continue to do so as the government has assigned £44 million for new homes, with an amount specifically earmarked for MMC. The sector has worked hard to develop and deliver beautifully designed, sustainable, precision-engineered homes. There are many modular specialist companies that have moved the design of modular houses onto the next level, creating communities with attractive yet affordable housing.
New healthcare builds will also continue to use MMC to expand facilities. The efficiency and speed of offsite manufacturing were showcased during the pandemic, as hospital and healthcare facility build times were reduced to weeks rather than years. As part of the government’s New Deal, the NHS has been given a large boost to increase facilities and the number of hospitals.
Offsite and modular construction work well with ‘live’ site builds such as hospitals, due to rapid build times, the reduced onsite presence, and disruption to the surrounding area. The UK government is expecting offsite to mean “a 50% reduction in the time taken from inception to completion of new build”.
School builds and extensions have also been promised as part of the New Deal. Modular and light steel frame buildings work well for school, further education and university builds as these are often ‘live’ sites requiring new facilities to be rapidly constructed for use.
Bespoke Designer Builds
General offsite design has improved dramatically and is now used in high-end developments from bathroom pods for luxury hotels to the construction of designer houses. A finalist in the 2020 Offsite awards, Spanish Casa Inhaus create dream modern homes that seem far removed from the pre-fab designs in the 1970s. Companies such as these show that the world is embracing offsite and that it is very much the future.
How green is offsite?
Modern methods of construction are greener in more ways than traditional build techniques. As specialist factories use offsite manufacturing technologies, all the elements and components are created efficiently through precision engineering, with minimal material waste.
Due to the UK’s aim of 2050 zero carbon emissions, many offsite elements have been developed over the years to be increasingly efficient and green. The need for energy-efficient offsite build development will continue as part of the Industrial Strategy’s Clean Growth Grand Challenge. This aims to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030 through investing in and developing innovative energy and low carbon technologies.
Even modern methods of construction on-site work are greener and more environmentally friendly, as fewer people and vehicles are required, meaning a reduced impact on the surrounding environment.
Why use time-lapse videos?
Time-lapse videos play an important role in showcasing offsite and modern methods of construction. Visually documenting the whole process with high-quality video has numerous benefits. Architects, construction companies, investors, and buyers can all see the ease, speed, and quality of the process from factory to road to site. Instilling trust in this type of build is essential to the continued growth of future offsite builds.
As the UK’s leading time-lapse video company, we have the expertise and know-how to produce offsite construction time-lapse videos to high specification requirements. Please contact us for more details and to discuss next your project.